Bishop Ian Ramsey Church of England Primary School


A child's reading skills are important to their success in school as they will allow them to access the breadth of the curriculum and improve their communication and language skills. Additionally, reading can be an enjoyable and imaginative time for children, which can open doors to all kinds of new worlds for them. Through reading, children have the opportunity to develop culturally, socially and emotionally as well as reaping the benefits academically.

At Bishop Ian Ramsey CE Primary School, a ‘Love of Reading’ is developed and fostered for the enjoyment, challenge and understanding of text. This love of language is developed through familiar stories, poetry and a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts.

At BIR we have a structured approach to the teaching of reading. We use a wide range of reading materials teaching methods to help children learn to read in a way which meets their needs and challenges them appropriately. Throughout school, we have expanded our collection of published books in order to encourage children’s desire to become readers. Our daily ‘Home Time Reader’ session is a lovely way for us to end each day, with the teacher reading aloud to the children. These books are often linked to our topics.

Across EYFS and Key Stage 1, we teach phonics (i.e. the sounds represented by the letters) using the Little Wandle programme. This systematic approach helps our children to learn whole words in order to develop a wide sight vocabulary.

In KS2, our Accelerated Reader scheme gives children the opportunity to practise their reading fluency as well as their comprehension with the end of book quizzes. Each KS2 class has their own Accelerated Reader display and reward system to encourage this fluent reading and deep understanding of each text.

Our aim is to teach children to not only read a text fluently, but to improve their comprehension skills as this will help children to understand and reflect upon what it is they have read. The types of questions children will explore are relevant to one of the key comprehension skills: discussing and exploring vocabulary; making predictions; discussing the author’s choice of language and the effect it has on a reader; summarising themes and ideas; retrieving information from the text and making inferences using clues from the text. As the children move into KS2, they take part in a weekly whole class comprehension lesson, where these skills are taught specifically.

We acknowledge and value the important role played by the family in supporting children’s reading development by reading to them and listening to them read. Books are taken home on a daily basis across all key stages, along with a reading record so that children can be heard reading and a comment (even a brief one) can be made. See our 'Reading at Home' section further below for more help with this at home.

Reading is at the very core of our curriculum at BIR and we are excited to continue to develop this even further!

Here are some key documents related to our approach to reading in school:

Reading vision

Reading Policy

Our Reading Approach at BIR


phonics & early reading

We have a structure and sequence of lessons to help teachers ensure they have taught all phonemes and graphemes as outlined in the Little Wandle scheme and that the skills of blending and segmenting have been taught. This is to ensure all pupils are able to sound and blend unfamiliar printed words quickly and accurately using their phonic knowledge. The children are taught to understand that the graphemes on the page represent the sounds in spoken words and this will underpin their reading and spelling of all words.

Above all we aim to establish a reading culture in school. Children will hear, share and discuss a wide range of high-quality books to develop a love of reading and broaden their vocabulary.

Being able to confidently read gives children confidence to access arrange of books and text independently which, in turn, broadens their horizons and helps them to achieve our Christian vision to ‘shine as a light in the world’ (Philippians 2: 14-15).

See more information below about the Little Wandle scheme and other resources linked to our approach to phonics and early reading.

Our Phonics Approach at BIR

Little Wandle Progression Chart  

Little Wandle Reception Overview

Little Wandle Year 1 Overview

Little Wandle resources for parents

Phonics at BIR - Parent/Carer Information Session 27.9.22



As parents and carers, we know that you play a vital role in helping to develop your child's reading at home. When we work together to help your child to read, we are opening the door to a world of books and learning! With your help, our children can learn how to read and can practise reading until they can read for their own enjoyment. Then they will have a whole world of information and knowledge at their fingertips!

So, we have put together some tips in the guide below that you might find useful to help to improve your child's reading skills at home, in line with our approach in school. We hope this helps!

Reading at Home guide

Accelerated Reader Parents Guide (KS2)

Bishop Ian Ramsey CE Primary School is part of the Durham Diocesan MAT. Durham Diocesan MAT is a company limited by guarantee (company number 10847279) and exempt charity registered in England and Wales at The Cai Building (fourth floor), Coble Dene, Royal Quays, North Shields, NE29 6DE.